Category Archives: Musicians Guca

Guca Trumpet Festival Image Gallery

Dejan Petrovic Trumpet Master

Dejan Petrovic, the son and successor of the most famous Serbian trumpet player Mica Petrovic, was born in 1985 in the village of Duboko, near Uzice.

Dejan and his brother Darko belong to the fourth generation of trumpet players in their family of music manufacturers.The first one to start playing the trumpet was Dejan’s great grandfather Tanasije and since then the skill has been passed down from father to son. Tanasije’s successor was Danilo and then his son Mica, who deserves credit for the world fame of this instrument.

It is certain that he was a man ahead of his time – a visionary or an artist who knew how to use the God’s gift and who could touch the soul of any man just by a simple sound of the trumpet. He gave good guidance to his sons Dejan and Darko, who showed interest for music from an early age.

At the age of six, Dejan played for the first time in front of an audience and, instead of spending his childhood playing with his friends; he spent time with his father and his orchestra, learning the secrets and the beauty of music until he recognized them within his very soul.

By the age of twelve he had already had his own, junior orchestra. Unfortunately, four years later he lost his father and, a great burden which was not easy to carry, fell upon him. Nevertheless, he did not surrender. Strong-minded, he followed his father’s footsteps to the point when he had to go further and choose his own path. With a lot of hard work and efforts put in, with the help and support of his brother Darko and other members of the band, Dejan, a young trumpet player, won prestigious awards as well as hearts of the audience wherever he performed. Success followed success until finally he surpassed the achievements of his father at the competition in Guca in 2006, winning the “Master’s Letter”, the most prominent award at the competition. And so the twenty-year-old from the village of Duboko went down in history as the youngest Master of the Trumpet and as an artist with a potential to win the world in the same manner.

He always loved to “play” with music: to put together the disparate, to perform the unseen, to achieve the impossible; always following modern trends, but never losing touch with his origin, tradition and music that made him.

The name Dejan Petrovic became a synonym for traditional Serbian music everywhere in the world, often combined with modern elements and adjusted for everybody’s ear.

He is not called The Ambassador of the Serbian Trumpet for no reason!

For fifteen years now, one could hear the name Dejan Petrovic Orchestra in the finals of every trumpet orchestra competition in the country, but also abroad. This is the best proof of the quality and a driving force to go further, to wish, to work and to achieve even more.

Dejan Petrovic Orchestra exists since 1996 and its founder and mentor Mica Petrovic, was a master trumpet player and a legend of the Serbian trumpet playing. A group of beardless boys, led by Dejan Petrovic, since their very first competition participation, have been winning one award after another and hasn’t stopped yet on their way to the top. Always leaving their audience open-mouthed in amazement and exhilaration, they let everyone know that, behind this image of cute little boys, lies tremendous work and dedication to their call. The hearts of the audience were captured.

It took them five years to reach their maturity, to stop with the junior orchestra competitions and get to grips with much older and more experienced rivals. As it happens, quality prevailed. Unique and matchless, of a distinguished sound and image, Dejan Petrovic Orchestra stands firmly on the top of the Serbian trumpet scene. Having won everything there was to win, in 2010 Dejan and his orchestra decided to stop competing at the Guca festival, to give space to new, young orchestras and to move on.

It is no surprise that many influential people in the music and film industry have chosen this orchestra as their co-workers, Emir Kusturica being one of the most important one, who they have been working with for seven years now. They have made music for a number of his films and not a single Kustendorf festival took place without Dejan and his orchestra.

Guca Trumpet Festival History

Serbian History Trumpet tradition
Dragacevo, which used to be a rural region, experienced strong economic and general educational and cultural development after 1950, and mostly in the first decade of the 21st century, first of all thanks to the Trumpeters Festival.

The capital of modern trumpeting – Guca, is relatively small, and the trumpet was first played as far ago as 1831. Before nearly two centuries Milos Obrenović ordered the establishment of a “Principle’s Serbian band” in Kragujevac, and that the first brass band be led by Josip Slezinger (1794-1870), a man from Sombor, who in those times was the first musically literate expert in Serbia. “Oberlautar” Mustafa, a man who played the violin and “zurle” (zurna), was until then amusing the Serb ruler and his entourage “and was amusing also even foreigners who did not have much understanding for Turkish music”. Immediately upon his arrival in Kragujevac he started to organize the band. Since he lacked in skilled musicians, he asked the Principle to arrange that young man from among the population be found, who have talent and will to do this job. Milos promptly ordered that each county delegates five young men. And, so it started. Although it did not always run smoothly, they learned to play the new “golden” instruments, by playing the round-dances and songs which they knew and were familiar with them, but learning also everything that maestro J. Slezinger was teaching them in the then Serbian capital Kragujevac.

History of the Serbian Trumpet Tradition

History of the Serbian Trumpet Tradition

Almost two centuries passed by, there were many outstanding military brass bands and band leaders from the regiments and divisions. However, only in the mid 19th century were the foreign musical and cultural influence getting stronger; they can be identified at the beginning of the new era in the folk music of Dragacevo and were particularly strong in regard to trumpet music and homophonic multi-part singing , i.e. in singing “na bas”. How the brass bands were emerging we heard from spontaneous statements of modern Dragacevo musicians. It is known in Dljina that their oldest trumpeter “was a guy named Cebic who was playing before World War I… And he himself inherited it from the past times. “In Goracici the first orchestra was founded by the Davidovic brothers from Dragacica “probably sometimes about the times of World War I, and this band included only four musicians”. Also, the story goes that “in Rti the band leader and first trumpet was Milisav Kostic–Tralja, and his today’s heirs are trumpeters playing in the Srecko Obradovic orchestra”. And so we come also to the trumpeter Desimir Perisic from Goracići and the winning orchestra at the First Festival in Guca in 1961.

The songs are usually based of two-bar motives and melodies, mainly of two part structure consisting of 4 to 5 tones.

All around the globe, at all meridians, on all continents, most probably also on the Antarctica, it is known that Guca and Dragacevo are famous for trumpet music. The trumpet can be heard, loudly and gently, also in the biggest cities of the world and recordings of the trumpeters’ music have reached the outer space, where the cosmonauts were amusing themselves.

Trumpet Museum

Trumpet Museum

With all the other flags, the Dragacevo Trumpeters Festival’s flag has been flying since 2000 also on the highest mountain peak of the world, Mount Everest, on the Himalayas (8,848 m). It was placed there by the first Serb – a man from Dragacevo, Dragan Jacimovic from Puhovo.

To say it in modern language, Dragacevo Trumpeters festival is one of the most famous Serbian brands. And trumpet music took for the world from the villages of Dragacevo, via Guca. Via Dragacevo Trumpeters Festival at which, for full five decades, the blessed musicians – the golden Serbian trumpeters – gathered in flocks.

Dragacevo, which used to be a rural region, experienced strong economic and general educational and cultural development after 1950, and mostly in the first decade of the 21st century, first of all thanks to the Trumpeters Festival.

The capital of modern trumpeting, Guca, is relatively small, and the trumpet was first played as far ago as 1831. Before nearly two centuries Milos Obrenovic ordered the establishment of a “Principle’s Serbian band” in Kragujevac, and that the first brass band be led by Josip Slezinger (1794-1870), a man from Sombor, who in those times was the first musically literate expert in Serbia. “Oberlautar” Mustafa, a man who played the violin and “zurle” (zurna), was until then amusing the Serb ruler and his entourage “and was amusing also even foreigners who did not have much understanding for Turkish music”. Immediately upon his arrival in Kragujevac he started to organize the band. Since he lacked in skilled musicians, he asked the Principle to arrange that young man from among the population be found, who have talent and will to do this job. Milos promptly ordered that each county delegates five young men. And, so it started. Although it did not always run smoothly, they learned to play the new “golden” instruments, by playing the round-dances and songs which they knew and were familiar with them, but learning also everything that maestro J. Slezinger was teaching them in the then Serbian capital Kragujevac

Almost two centuries passed by, there were many outstanding military brass bands and band leaders from the regiments and divisions. However, only in the mid 19th century were the foreign musical and cultural influence getting stronger; they can be identified at the beginning of the new era in the folk music of Dragacevo and were particularly strong in regard to trumpet music and homophonic multi-part singing , i.e. in singing “na bas”. How the brass bands were emerging we heard from spontaneous statements of modern Dragacevo musicians. It is known in Dljina that their oldest trumpeter “was a guy named Cebic who was playing before World War I… And he himself inherited it from the past times. “In Goracići the first orchestra was founded by the Davidovic brothers from Dragacica “probably sometimes about the times of World War I, and this band included only four musicians”. Also, the story goes that “in Rti the band leader and first trumpet was Milisav Kostić–Tralja, and his today’s heirs are trumpeters playing in the Srecko Obradovic orchestra”. And so we come also to the trumpeter Desimir Perisic from Goracići and the winning orchestra at the First Festival in Guca in 1961.

The songs are usually based of two-bar motives and melodies, mainly of two part structure consisting of 4 to 5 tones.
The vigorous folk round-dances from the western regions are characterized by occasional pauses of the leading trumpets, with the basses taking over the leading tune of the leading trumpets, highlighting the basic harmonies. Also, we will notice that southern folk dances are usually characterized by oriental music, in the so-called “aksak” rhythm. This is especially emphasized with the “performance” of the drummer, who expertly combines larger “cukan” (right hand) strokes with those of the thinner stick (left hand, on the edge of the drum, skillfully stressing the changes of double and triple meter in the specific rhythmical formulas and combinations (8/8; 7/8; 9/8 etc.), especially in the characteristic dances – songs called “chochek”. Then, spontaneously and ravishingly, genuinely enjoying in the music, dance only those who truly know how to do it. In the eastern region a big number of folk dances of the “Batrna” (ancient dance) type and “Stara Vlajna”, i.e. “Timocka Rumenka” or “Svrljiski laskavac”, are preserving the genetic features of the Vallah or Serb Hora dancing, when the dancers are crossing their hands and holding each other by the belt. And all Serbian songs and dances have up to five tones, while Vallah melodies are more diversified and with an occasional alternation of the slow parts with the usually faster refrain. Singing with trumpet accompaniment is gaining in popularity nowadays here with us. Like the first folk trumpeters from the times of Milos, contemporary ones are also mainly autodidacts having keen hearing, and are playing a huge repertoire of songs and dances by heart, and by the ear, improvising their interpretation spontaneously and from their soles and hearts. With the first orchestras, their members evolved as musicians and their number was invreasing. At the beginning the orchestras had five musicians, and the contemporary orchestras usually have up to ten musicians (three to four ”B” trumpets, three bass flugelhorns, one bass trumpet – helicon or euphonium, and, finally, snare drum and large drum with cymbals. Three regions clearly identified themselves by the style of their music, and are today three famous centers with the best trumpeters in Serbia today. Although the trumpet is not as deeply rooted in our people like the vocal music tradition, the fact is that those active in the field of culture have four decades ago broke the ground for trumpet music in tiny Guca. Since then, like awakening from a dream, trumpet music grew very quickly in those areas of western, eastern and southern Serbia in which the trumpet seed probably had already been thrown and did exist, and it also woke up during so many decades in the center of sumadija, where its seed was for the first time thrown in the far away year 1831.

Brass band “Barka”, Knjazevac

Orchestra Brass band “Barka”, Knjazevac

The Barka Brass Band comes from the small town of Knjazevac in eastern Serbia, near the Bulgarian border. With their black suits and hats, they look like they have escaped from the film The Blues Brothers. This dynamic brass ensemble’s finest achievement came last year with their victory at the Guča Trumpet Festival 2012, a kind of unofficial world championship for brass bands. Warning: this stuff is explosive!

Darko Dimitrijevic was born in Knjazevac in 1980. year. He began playing trumpet at the age of fifteenth year. He finished secondary music school in the class of Professor Mile Paunovic in Negotin. At the Academy of Music in Cetinje, completed undergraduate studies in the class of Professor Mladen Djordjevic, where along with a horn section and theoretically studied. He was engaged as first trumpet of the Montenegro Symphony Orchestra. He is currently employed in the “Symphony Orchestra of city Nis” as first solo trumpet. In addition to classical music, a great connoisseur of ethno sound from Balkan region, especially in Eastern Serbia, which is the theme of his new CD, which is in preparation.

Ivan Kostic was born in 1983 in Nis. He finish secondary school for machine technician in Knjazevac. Actively start to playing piano from 1997. Forming Orchestra Brass band “Barka” from Knjazevca, in 1998. years, he began playing the trumpet. Along with tenor horn, he playing acoustic drums and percussion. Awards and Recognition: With Orchestra Brass band “Barka” performed, except in Serbia, in many cities and countries around the world, where he won many awards. The biggest prizes won in competitions in Guca: In the category Youth Orchestras: second place twice time, and once first place. In the senior category, “The Golden Apple” the best band award for best performed folk dance. At the international Guca Trumpet Festival competition: the best band. Collaboration: The music band and Orchestra Brass band “Barka” has cooperation and joint appearances with orchestras ”Balkanika” Sanja Ilic and “Black and White World” by Dejan Pejovic.

Milos Velickovic was born in 1984 in Knjazevac. Milos finish secondary school for machine technician in Knjazevac. With music he deals since 1996, then began to play the accordion with keyboard. He forming Orchestra Brass band “Barka” from Knjazevca, in the 1998. year, when he started to play the trumpet. Awards and Recognition: With Orchestra Brass band “Barka” he has performed at many events, festivals in Serbia, in many cities and countries around the world and won many awards. The biggest prize was in competition in Guca like the youngest band: 2004. and 2005.,  second place, and in 2006. he won first place. In the senior category: 2011 he won “The Golden Apple” award for the best band in 2012 and the award for Best performed round. At the international competition: 2013. his band get award for the best Guca Brass band. Collaboration: He has cooperation with many famous musicians and composers, and had the honor to be with orchestra “Balkanika” of composer Sanja Ilic.

Dejan Petkovic was born in 1985. in Knjazevac. Elementary and secondary school ended in Knjazevac and at the moment he study the Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade. Music deals than in 1998. year, on their own initiative and with the support of friends. Also he is one of the founders of Orchestra Brass band “Barka” in which he began playing bass. Awards and honors: Awards at Guca Competition in 2006. year, the award for the best original Guca music in 2011., the best Guca Brass band in 2012, as well as awards for world best international band at the Guca Trumpet competition in 2013. year. With the Orchestra Brass band “Barka” successfully wins many competitions in Eastern Serbia, since 2009. year. From individual award, he won the best bass musician in front of the trumpet players in Eastern Serbia. Collaboration: Under the direction of Professor Darko Dimitrijevic successfully working on the new CD for the music band of Sanja ilic.

Ivan Milenkovic was born in 1983. in Knjazevac. Elementary music school ended in Knjazevac. Secondary music school in Negotin. In elementary school, his first musical direction was harmonica, and later musical direction trumpet. After he ended secondary school, Ivan has began playing with Orchestra Brass band “Barka”. Awards and Recognition: With the Orchestra Brass band “Barka” successfully wins many competitions, except in Serbia, in many cities and countries around the world and he won many awards. The greatest awards are on the Trumpet Festival in Guca. In the category Youth Orchestras: second place twice time, and one time first place. In the senior category, he won “The Golden Apple” award for the best band and award for best performed folk dance. At the international competition he won award for best Brass band.

Milan Stanisic was born in 1986. in Knjazevac. He finished secondary school, technician for  construction, in Knjazevac. Music deals since 1995., when he began playing drums. With a Orchestra Brass band “Barka” starts cooperation since 2009. year. Awards and Recognition: With Orchestra Brass band “Barka” performed at many music events in Serbia, Europe and worldwide. With the orchestra has won many awards in Guca Trumpet Festival: Award for etno playing in 2011., award for the best brass band in 2012, award for best international brass band in the world in 2013. From individual award he won award for the best drummer in the pre-competition in Trumpet Festival in Eastern Serbia in 2012.

Mladen Velickovic was born in 1987. in Knjazevac. He finished secondary school, technician for  construction in Knjazevac. Music deals start in 1998., when he began playing in the Orchestra Brass band “Barka” from Knjazevca. With the orchestra has performed in many musical events and festivals in Serbia. Awards and Recognition: With Orchestra Brass band “Barka” won many awards in Guca: In the category Youth Orchestras: 2004. and 2005., the second place, in 2006. he won the first place. In the senior category: 2011. get the award “The Golden Apple” for the best brass band of 2012, and the award for Best performed round. At the international competition he get award in 2013. for the best brass band in the world. From individual prizes awarded for the best tenor in Eastern Serbia in 2001.

Dejan Dimitrijevic was born in Knjazevac in 1984. year. After he finished secondary school in Knjazevac, Dejan continued their education in Nis, on Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Transportation, where in 2007 he received the degree of traffic engineers. Music starts practicing in his fifteenth year. He finished elementary music school, in the class of Professor Dobrivoja Krstic. Dejan later switched to tenor and started playing in the Orchestra Brass band “Barka”. Participate on all competitions in Guca since 1998.  Dejan won many prestigious music awards. He has performed in concerts all over Serbia, Europe, and in festivals in Asia and Africa.

Saban Bajramovic

Saban Bajramovic is the most prolific and the most celebrated Roma singer, composer and poet in the Balkans. Among thousands of articles and studies written throughout the world about this author, there is not a single one which does not link his name with the expression “The King of Roma music”.

Saban Bajramovic was born on April 16, 1936 in Nis (Serbia). He almost did not attend the school while picking up musical education, alike many of his people, on street.

 

 

When he was nineteen, he deserted the army because of love, and later was sentenced to three years imprisonment at the Goli Otok isolation facility on an island in the Adriatic sea. However, as he told the military court that there was no sentence long enough for him to serve it, the sentence was extended to five and a half years.

However, while serving his sentence at the Goli Otok facility, Šaban Bajramović founded a prison band which played, among other music, jazz, Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra songs, as well as Spanish and Mexican melodies. Nowadays, he says that Goli Otok was his life-university, where he formed the way he thinks. He made his first record in 1964, and nowadays, his discography consists of some twenty albums and more then fifty singles. He wrote and composed, as he said, about seven hundred songs. For more than twenty years, he has led “Crna Mamba” (Black Mamba), touring half of the world with the band. Upon invitation of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, he visited India, where he was named for The King of the Gypsy World Music.

Dejan Petrovic pobednik Guce i majstor trube

Dejan Lazarević: Uskoro će svetlost dana ugledati novi CD sa specifičnim balkanskim zvukom koji je Lazarević radio u saradnji sa popularnim čačanskim bendom.
Dejan Petrović već spremio repertoar
– Nastupićemo verovatno u nešto modernijoj varijanti na ovogodišnjem Saboru trubača. Naravno, srpska tradicija je deo svakog našeg nastupa, ali ove godine ćemo koncert obogatiti novim numerama, veoma zanimljivim. Planirano goste, u svakom slučaju obećavamo odličnu zabavu i kvalitetan program – kaže Lazarević. On dodaje da bi ga radovalo da u Guču dođu zvučna imena poput filmske dive Džulije Roberts, pa ako se to obistini, Lazarević će kao i njegov kolega biti spreman.
Dejan Petrovic u Vrscu Najmlađi i višestruki pobednik Sabora trubača u Guči i prva truba sveta Dejan Petrović održaće sa svojim Big bendom veliki koncert u hali “Milenijum” u Vršcu 10. marta. – Kao i sve dosadašnje, i ovaj koncert posvećujem svojoj ćerki Jovani, najvećoj radosti i najvećem pokretaču u životu. Mnoge sam želje ispunio, ostala je još jedna, a to je svetska karijera. Želim da autentičan zvuk srpske trube pronesem svetom – kaže Dejan Petrović.
S. M. – Imamo repertoar i za popularnu glumicu. Samo neka dođe, biće oduševljena – poručuje Lazarević. Treći Dejan – Jevđić, upotpuniće muzički nastup velikana trube. Najmlađi u svetu nagrada za izvođenje na limenim instrumentima Dejan Jevđić je sa orkestrom “Zao Taro lajt” prošle godine podigao Zlatnu trubu Sabora. – Radimo predano. Svakodnevno vežbamo za Guču, a mene posebno raduje činjenica da ću nastupati sa imenjacima Lazarevićem i Petrovićem.
Moramo za taj koncert da odaberemo najbolji repertoar i budemo posebno dobri. Nema sumnje, ljubiteljima trube ostaće u pamćenju planirana svirka jer nagrade najbolje govore o kvalitetu trubača – kaže Jevđić. Koncert trojice Dejana, trubačkih superstarova, novina je ove godine. Dosad su najbolji svirali na ponoćnom koncertu, a “Tri D” upriličen je kao poseban poklon organizatora ljubiteljima trube.

Serbian History Trumpet Tradition

Serbian History Trumpet tradition
Dragacevo, which used to be a rural region, experienced strong economic and general educational and cultural development after 1950, and mostly in the first decade of the 21st century, first of all thanks to the Trumpeters Festival.

The capital of modern trumpeting – Guca, is relatively small, and the trumpet was first played as far ago as 1831. Before nearly two centuries Milos Obrenović ordered the establishment of a “Principle’s Serbian band” in Kragujevac, and that the first brass band be led by Josip Slezinger (1794-1870), a man from Sombor, who in those times was the first musically literate expert in Serbia. “Oberlautar” Mustafa, a man who played the violin and “zurle” (zurna), was until then amusing the Serb ruler and his entourage “and was amusing also even foreigners who did not have much understanding for Turkish music”. Immediately upon his arrival in Kragujevac he started to organize the band. Since he lacked in skilled musicians, he asked the Principle to arrange that young man from among the population be found, who have talent and will to do this job. Milos promptly ordered that each county delegates five young men. And, so it started. Although it did not always run smoothly, they learned to play the new “golden” instruments, by playing the round-dances and songs which they knew and were familiar with them, but learning also everything that maestro J. Slezinger was teaching them in the then Serbian capital Kragujevac.

History of the Serbian Trumpet Tradition

History of the Serbian Trumpet Tradition

Almost two centuries passed by, there were many outstanding military brass bands and band leaders from the regiments and divisions. However, only in the mid 19th century were the foreign musical and cultural influence getting stronger; they can be identified at the beginning of the new era in the folk music of Dragacevo and were particularly strong in regard to trumpet music and homophonic multi-part singing , i.e. in singing “na bas”. How the brass bands were emerging we heard from spontaneous statements of modern Dragacevo musicians. It is known in Dljina that their oldest trumpeter “was a guy named Cebic who was playing before World War I… And he himself inherited it from the past times. “In Goracici the first orchestra was founded by the Davidovic brothers from Dragacica “probably sometimes about the times of World War I, and this band included only four musicians”. Also, the story goes that “in Rti the band leader and first trumpet was Milisav Kostic–Tralja, and his today’s heirs are trumpeters playing in the Srecko Obradovic orchestra”. And so we come also to the trumpeter Desimir Perisic from Goracići and the winning orchestra at the First Festival in Guca in 1961.

The songs are usually based of two-bar motives and melodies, mainly of two part structure consisting of 4 to 5 tones.

All around the globe, at all meridians, on all continents, most probably also on the Antarctica, it is known that Guca and Dragacevo are famous for trumpet music. The trumpet can be heard, loudly and gently, also in the biggest cities of the world and recordings of the trumpeters’ music have reached the outer space, where the cosmonauts were amusing themselves.

With all the other flags, the Dragacevo Trumpeters Festival’s flag has been flying since 2000 also on the highest mountain peak of the world, Mount Everest, on the Himalayas (8,848 m). It was placed there by the first Serb – a man from Dragacevo, Dragan Jacimovic from Puhovo.

To say it in modern language, Dragacevo Trumpeters festival is one of the most famous Serbian brands. And… trumpet music took for the world from the villages of Dragacevo, via Guca. Via Dragacevo Trumpeters Festival at which, for full five decades, the blessed musicians – the golden Serbian trumpeters – gathered in flocks.

Dragacevo, which used to be a rural region, experienced strong economic and general educational and cultural development after 1950, and mostly in the first decade of the 21st century, first of all thanks to the Trumpeters Festival.

The capital of modern trumpeting, Guca, is relatively small, and the trumpet was first played as far ago as 1831. Before nearly two centuries Milos Obrenovic ordered the establishment of a “Principle’s Serbian band” in Kragujevac, and that the first brass band be led by Josip Slezinger (1794-1870), a man from Sombor, who in those times was the first musically literate expert in Serbia. “Oberlautar” Mustafa, a man who played the violin and “zurle” (zurna), was until then amusing the Serb ruler and his entourage “and was amusing also even foreigners who did not have much understanding for Turkish music”. Immediately upon his arrival in Kragujevac he started to organize the band. Since he lacked in skilled musicians, he asked the Principle to arrange that young man from among the population be found, who have talent and will to do this job. Milos promptly ordered that each county delegates five young men. And, so it started. Although it did not always run smoothly, they learned to play the new “golden” instruments, by playing the round-dances and songs which they knew and were familiar with them, but learning also everything that maestro J. Slezinger was teaching them in the then Serbian capital Kragujevac

Almost two centuries passed by, there were many outstanding military brass bands and band leaders from the regiments and divisions. However, only in the mid 19th century were the foreign musical and cultural influence getting stronger; they can be identified at the beginning of the new era in the folk music of Dragacevo and were particularly strong in regard to trumpet music and homophonic multi-part singing , i.e. in singing “na bas”. How the brass bands were emerging we heard from spontaneous statements of modern Dragacevo musicians. It is known in Dljina that their oldest trumpeter “was a guy named Cebic who was playing before World War I… And he himself inherited it from the past times. “In Goracići the first orchestra was founded by the Davidovic brothers from Dragacica “probably sometimes about the times of World War I, and this band included only four musicians”. Also, the story goes that “in Rti the band leader and first trumpet was Milisav Kostić–Tralja, and his today’s heirs are trumpeters playing in the Srecko Obradovic orchestra”. And so we come also to the trumpeter Desimir Perisic from Goracići and the winning orchestra at the First Festival in Guca in 1961.

The songs are usually based of two-bar motives and melodies, mainly of two part structure consisting of 4 to 5 tones.
The vigorous folk round-dances from the western regions are characterized by occasional pauses of the leading trumpets, with the basses taking over the leading tune of the leading trumpets, highlighting the basic harmonies. Also, we will notice that southern folk dances are usually characterized by oriental music, in the so-called “aksak” rhythm. This is especially emphasized with the “performance” of the drummer, who expertly combines larger “cukan” (right hand) strokes with those of the thinner stick (left hand, on the edge of the drum, skillfully stressing the changes of double and triple meter in the specific rhythmical formulas and combinations (8/8; 7/8; 9/8 etc.), especially in the characteristic dances – songs called “chochek”. Then, spontaneously and ravishingly, genuinely enjoying in the music, dance only those who truly know how to do it. In the eastern region a big number of folk dances of the “Batrna” (ancient dance) type and “Stara Vlajna”, i.e. “Timocka Rumenka” or “Svrljiski laskavac”, are preserving the genetic features of the Vallah or Serb Hora dancing, when the dancers are crossing their hands and holding each other by the belt. And all Serbian songs and dances have up to five tones, while Vallah melodies are more diversified and with an occasional alternation of the slow parts with the usually faster refrain. Singing with trumpet accompaniment is gaining in popularity nowadays here with us. Like the first folk trumpeters from the times of Milos, contemporary ones are also mainly autodidacts having keen hearing, and are playing a huge repertoire of songs and dances by heart, and by the ear, improvising their interpretation spontaneously and from their soles and hearts. With the first orchestras, their members evolved as musicians and their number was invreasing. At the beginning the orchestras had five musicians, and the contemporary orchestras usually have up to ten musicians (three to four ”B” trumpets, three bass flugelhorns, one bass trumpet – helicon or euphonium, and, finally, snare drum and large drum with cymbals. Three regions clearly identified themselves by the style of their music, and are today three famous centers with the best trumpeters in Serbia today. Although the trumpet is not as deeply rooted in our people like the vocal music tradition, the fact is that those active in the field of culture have four decades ago broke the ground for trumpet music in tiny Guca. Since then, like awakening from a dream, trumpet music grew very quickly in those areas of western, eastern and southern Serbia in which the trumpet seed probably had already been thrown and did exist, and it also woke up during so many decades in the center of sumadija, where its seed was for the first time thrown in the far away year 1831.

Mokra Gora Program – 8 days

Mokra Gora Program – 8 days
Brace yourself for a unique Serbian experience! Visit the beautiful mountainside of Western Serbia and enjoy the renowned ethno villages and specialties. Enrich yourselves with a taste of life in the Balkans. Take a piece of Serbia with You.Tour highlights:
– scenic landscapes and gentle slopes of Zlatibor,
Zlatibor Lake,
– scenic hiking routes to Čigota filled with pinewoods, therapeutic for the people with thyroid gland problems,
– mountain and River Tara with its scenic views and crystal clear water,
– monastery and Pension Soko Grad,
– famous scenic railroad Šarganska Osmica,
– “Wooden City” Mećavnik built by Emir Kusturica,
– 200 – year old Ethno Village Sirogojno,
– handmade arts and crafts form Sirogojno, which are the latest fashion trend in the ethno styles,.
– Stopić Cave,
– NATO bombing ruins in Belgrade.Day 1: Saturday
Arrival at Belgrade Airport. Departure for Zlatibor with quick stop for lunch. Arrival at Zlatibor. Accomodation in Villa “u Lugu”. Dinner and rest.Day 2: Sunday
Breakfast. Sightseeing on Zlatibor with a shuttle with several stops. Lunch and rest. Hiking tour to Cigota. Dinner and rest.

Day 3: Monday [Field Trip 1]
Breakfast. Departure for Mokra Gora. Ride on the scenic railroad Sarganska Osmica, which was the location for the filming of Emir Kusturica movie Life is a Miracle. Arrival at Mecavnik, “Wooden City” which was designed and constructed by the famous director. Departure for Bajina Bašta with a stop for sightseeing of the lake. Return to Zlatibor. Dinner and rest.

Day 4: Tuesday [Field Trip 2]
Breakfast. Departure for Sirogojno. Tour of the Ethno – Village and the museum. Shopping for handmade arts and craft, for which this area is famous for. Ethnic lunch and return to Zlatibor with a stop for the tour of Stopica Cave. Dinner and rest.

Day 5: Wednesday [Field Trip 3]
Breakfast. Departure for Soko Grad near Ljubovija with a visit to the monastery. Lunch. Trip to Kozja Stena, the most scenic view from Mt. Tara. Return to Zlatibor. Dinner and rest.

Day 6: Thursday
Breakfast. Free time before lunch. After the lunch a scenic hiking tour. After the hiking tour some rest and dinner. Good Bye Party and rest.

Day 7: Friday
Return to Belgrade. Lunch in Belgrade. Dinner and Goodbye Party on one of the famous rafts in Belgrade. Rest.

Day 8: Saturday
Early breakfast. Transfer to Belgrade Airport

What else:
– you will eat healthy food and as a souvenir you will take some specialties with you,
– clean and fresh mountain air at high altitudes which is of benefit for the people with respiratory problems,
– participate in health and fitness program on Čigota,
– take a bath or drink water from crystal clear rivers on Tara and Zlatibor,
– have a relaxing holiday in the parts of Serbia where nature is unaffected by industrial development,
– surprise gift.

Tour details:
– 7 Nights with Half Board,
– 8 lunches,
– 2 Transfers,
– 3 Field Trips.

Guide Service: 2 persons, Tickets and Fees for all locations.

A unique Serbian experience awaits you. Unique tours offered by Outdoor open the doors to the hidden treasures of Serbian nature and culture. Visit the crossroads of Western and Eastern civilization and the region that forged much of the European history. Once You leave, take a piece of Serbia in Your heart. Program is based on minimum 6 persons.

Šarganska Osmica, Mokra Gora – Two days tour

Šarganska Osmica, Mokra Gora – Two days tour
1st day: Belgrade – Pustinja and Rača monasteries – Vrelo site – Perućac lake – Bajina Bašta
08:00 – Departure from Belgrade; a ride on Ibar high – way in the direction of Valjevo [90km from Belgrade].
10:00 – Visit to Pustinja monastery.
12:00 – Continuing journey to Bajina Bašta and Perućac.
13:30 – Bajina Bašta – Arrival; accommodation in “Drina” 3* hotel
14:00 – Lunch.
16:00 – Visit to Rača monastery.
17:00 – Arrival to HE Bajina Bašta dam. Short walk by the lake and a visit to Vrelo site.
20:30 – Dinner.2nd day: Bajina Bašta – Kremna – Mokra Gora-a ride by famous “Šarganska osmica” train – return to Belgrade
07:00 – Breakfast in”Drina” hotel; leaving the hotel.
08:30 – Departure for Kremna over the Tara Mountain. Short stop by the place where once was the house of famous Kreman’s profets Tarabićs.
10:15 – Arrival to Mokra Gora, the leaving station of “Šarganska osmica“; refreshment.
A ride on a narrow railroad – ”ćira” – throught beautiful lanscapes.
13:00 – Lunch at the “Jatare” station.
15:00 – Visit to Kusturica’s ethnic village – Drvengrad.
17:30 – Departure for Belgrade, with short stop an refreshment in “Livade” motel – Preljina by the Čačak.
Arrival in Belgrade in the late evening hours.Price of the arrangement does not include: Reservation costs. In a case of cancellation of journey these costs will not be refunded.Price of the arrangement includes:
– Accommodation based on full service [classic menu]
– transportation by tourist bus [TV/CD player and air – condition]
– Lunch on “Jatare” station
– Visits to Pustinja and Rača monasteries
– Visit to Perućac and Vrelo site
– Visit to Tarabićs’ house site
– Ride on Šarganska osmica
– Visit to ethnic village – Drvengrad
– Excursion organization and guidance
– Services of the local tourist guide

Minimal number of passengers for the arrangement is 35.

Ethnology village Zlatibor, Serbia (Arrangement Zlatibor)

Ethnology village Zlatibor, Serbia (Arrangement Zlatibor)
Day 1th: Arrival in Belgrade. Accommodation in the hotel; Dinner; Spare time; Overnight.Day 2nd: Belgrade – Valjevo – National Park Tara – Belgrade: Breakfast. Sightseeing with a professional tourist guide. Route: the City Parliament, the Federal Parliament, Terazije Square, Republic Square, Students’ Square, Belgrade Fortress, City Gate [“Varos kapija”], New Belgrade, Topcider Hill, Dedinje, Oslobodjenje Square, Slavija Square, Nikola Pasic Square.

Trip continues towards Valjevo. Sight – seeing: Old Serbian town Tesnjar, Muselin’s Residential House, Poetry Square [“Trg Pesnistva”] – a monument dedicated to a Serbian poet Desanka Maksimovic, Vojvoda Misic Square [a Serbian field marshal]; visit to the monasteries Celije and Lelic. Lunch in Serbian national restaurant [facultative]. Trip continues towards National Park Tara. Arrival in the hotel Omorika is planned in afternoon; accommodation; dinner.

Day 3rd: Tara Mountain. Breakfast in the hotel. Departure to Perucac; visit to the river Vrelo with beautiful waterfalls, and the river godina [365m long; godina: year]. Continuing our trip, we visit Mitrovac and “carpet meadow” and observation deck “Banjska stena”. Return to hotel; dinner; overnight.

Day 4th Mountains Tara – ZlatiborMokra Gora. Mountain Tara: Breakfast in the hotel; checkout. Excursion to the Rača Monastery and the spring of thermal water “Ladjevac” located near the monastery. Trip with beautiful panorama sight – seeing continues towards Zlatibor Mountain. Arrival to Mokra Gora.

Visit to the Drvengrad, film city of Emir Kusturica. Watching the projection of the latest documentary film by Emir Kusturica. Lunch is planned [optionally] in the ethno restaurant of this unique film city.

Boarding the old type train “Cira” and driving along the famous “Sarganska osmica” – the narrow – gage railroad, shaped in number eight, long 15km with 22 tunnels, many viaducts and bridges and it represents the greatest tourist attraction in Europe at the moment. Stops are on the places with spectacular views, and also on the place where film “Zivot je čudo” [Life is a miracle] by Emir Kusturica is made. Return to Zlatibor and accommodation in the hotel. Dinner; Overnight.

Day 5th: Mountain Zlatibor – Belgrade. Breakfast. Checkout.
Visit to the Ovcarsko – kablarska Gorge, called “Serbian Mount Athos” for its unique monasteries. Arrival in Belgrade in the afternoon.

Composer Goran Bregovic is mega-star in Guca

Composer Goran Bregovic is mega-star in all Guca Trumpet Festivals
Goran Bregović describes himself simply as contemporary composer. Why then does his “contemporary” sound different from music of other contemporary composers? Because Goran is from the Balkans. And in the Balkans “contemporary” is different.

What does his orchestra for Weddings and Funerals composed of a gypsy brass band, traditional Bulgarian polyphonies, an electric guitar, traditional percussion, strings and Orthodox Church male singers, read on Bregovic’s score sheets? Echoes from Jewish and Gypsy weddings, chants from Orthodox and Catholic Church, Muslim invocations. His music comes from that terrible frontier where for centuries Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Muslims made war and lived together. Music that our soul recognises instinctively and the body greets with an irresistible urge to dance.

Born in Sarajevo of a Serbian mother and a Croatian father. After a few years of (very unenthusiastic) music studies at the conservatory (violin), Goran forms his first group “The White Button” at the age of sixteen. Composer and guitar player (“I chose the guitar because guitar players always have most success with girls”), he admits his immoderate love for rock n’roll. “In those times, Rock had a capital role in our lives. It was the only way we could make our voice heard, and publicly express our discontent without risking jail (or just about)…”

Studies of philosophy and sociology would most certainly have landed him teacher of Marxist thought, had the gigantic success of his first record not decided otherwise. Follow fifteen years with his group “The White Button“, marked by marathon-tours and endless sessions of autographing in which Goran plays youth idol in Eastern countries until he’s sick and tired of it.

At the end of the eighties BREGOVIC takes time away from this permanent hustle-bustle to compose music for Kusturica’s “Times of the Gypsies”, and to make his childhood dream come true: to live in a small house on an island in the Adriatic. The War in Yugoslavia shatters this, and many other dreams, and Goran has to abandon everything to find exile in Paris… starting point for roaming the world with his music that made him a honorary citizen of Buenos Aires, Tirana and Athens and honorary Doctor of Music from Sheffield University, UK.

MUSIC FOR MOVIES

Coming from the same background, the same generation, survivors of the same experiences, Goran BREGOVIC and Emir KUSTURICA formed a tandem which didn’t need words to communicate. After “Times of the Gypsies” Goran had a free hand to compose the original soundtrack for “Arizona Dream“. The music lives up to the film – poetical, original and incredibly enhancing. “One of the great things about Emir’s movies is that they show life exactly as it is – full of holes, hesitations and unexpected events. It’s this imperfect, unorganised side that I wanted to preserve above all. Even the songs recorded with Iggy are very under-produced. There’s just his voice and behind it a gypsy-orchestra blowing into old pre-war trumpets and cow’s horns. It’s really very simple.”

“Silence of the Balkans” was a very ambitious multimedia project performed in 1997 in Thessaloniki, under the direction of Slovenian Tomaz PANDUR with video images by Boris MILJKOVIC. Then a collaboration with Teatro Stabile from Trieste for whom he wrote the stage music for a very unusual “Hamlet”, and Goran Bregovic starts enjoying writing for the theatre. Follows a collaboration with one of the most “fashionnable” Italian directors, Marco BAILANI for whom, commissioned by the Festival NOVECENTO in Palermo, he writes the music for “The Children’s Crusade” (created November 1999). Recently Bregovic wrote music for a stage setting of Dante’s “Divine Comedy” (conceived as a triptych, of which the first part Inferno was premiered at the THALIA THEATRE in Hamburg in January 2001, followed in February 2002 by Purgatory and Paradise). The director is Goran’s long time work complice, Tomaz PANDUR from Slovenia.

For over ten years, since he abandoned pure rock in 1985, the music of BREGOVIC had never been performed live. This all changes in 1995 when, with a band of ten traditional musicians, a choir of fifty singers and a symphony orchestra, he undertakes a series of mega-concerts in Greece and Sweden followed by the concert given October 26th at the Forest National of Brussels for an audience of 7500. Very few concert performances in 1996 as the idea of a hundred and twenty performers on stage scared even the most enthusiastic promoters.

Like a happy grown up child, Goran is honoured by collaborations with tallented performers from diverse cultures – people he would have asked for an autograph not so long ago: Iggy Pop, whom he totally reinvents (Arizona Dream 1993), Ofra Haza (La Reine Margot,1994), Cesaria Evora (Underground 1995), Scot WALKER in UK, Setzen Aksu in Turkey, George Dalaras in Greece, Kayah in Poland.

Le Temps de Gitans” (Polygram/Universal)
Arizona Dream” (Polygram/Universal)
Toxic Affair” (Polygram/Universal)
La Reine Margot” (Polygram/Universal)
Underground” (Polygram/Universal)
“Ederlezi” compilation” (Polygram/Universal)
Bregovic and Kayah” (BMG Poland)
Songbook” (Polygram/Universal)
Music for Films” (Polygram/Universal)
Tales from Weddings and Funerals” (Polygram/Universal)
Goran Bregovic‘s Karmen…” (Mercury/Universal)
Alkohol” (Mercury/Decca)

Giovanni FERETTI of the legendary Italian group CSI, art director of Bologna 2000″, asked Goran BREGOVIC to be the ambassador of music from the orthodox countries for a night-long fiesta on June 27. Goran called it “Hot Balkan Roots” and invited three brass bands (one from Bulgaria, one from Romania and another one from Serbia) and a group of Russian female voices. A joint concert of BREGOVIC and CSI topped it all and the party was repeated on June 29 at the prestigious NUOVO AUDITORIUM DI ROMA.

2006 was marked by a project entitled “Forgive me, is this the way to the Future?” – concerto for violin and two orchestras – Three letters, commissioned by ECHO (European Concert Hall Organisation) for a tour of ten concerts in major European concert halls* in April 2007, interpreted by Goran’s Wedding and Funeral Band plus Kristjan JÒVI’s ABSOLUTE ENSEMBLE from New York – all under the direction of Kristjan JÒVI.

After tours across Europe and South America during the whole of 2002 and four triumphant concerts in Paris in November (two in the underground “Bataclan” and two in the temple of classical music “Th꡴re des Champs Elys”), in 2003 Bregovic toured Scandinavia, France, Rumania, Spain. In June 2003 a rendering of “Tolerant Heart” at the Festival of Sacred Music in Fez, Morocco and at the Guggenheim Foundation in Bilbao, and then two incredible sold out concerts in the legendary LUNA PARK Stadium in Buenos Aires. Then Summer Festivals across Europe.Very little touring in Autumn/Winter 2003-2004 (only a short series of concerts in Switzerland in March 2004), as time was dedicated to “Goran Bregovic‘s Karmen with a Happy End”. Since then, over a hundred and fifty performances: a “Karmen” from St. Petersburg to Jerusalem, from Buenos Aires to Seoul. A tour in Italy in April, concerts in France, Germany, Bergen Festival in Norway in May 2004… then yet more concerts in Italy, Germany and France in the Summer season… In the Fall three concerts in Belgium, then the Baltic countries, Vienna and the Chech Republic (plus one concert in Bratislava in Slovakia). In November Argentina again with three concerts in Buenos Aires and one in Cordoba, and then in December 2004 five concerts of “Karmen” at the Piccolo Teatro Festival Season in Milan, some more in Cagliari (Sardegna) and (yet another) short tour of Italy….

“Margot, Diary of a Queen“, format of the Goran Bregovic Weddings and Funerals Orchestra (brass, Bulgarian voices, voice/percussion plus a male vocal sextet and a string quartet) plus an actress specifically chosen to say the text in the language of each country where “Margot… ” is presented will be premiered at the Festival de Saint Denis, France on June 7 and 8 2010.

Patrice Chereau entrusts him with the music for “La Reine Margot“, Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1994. Goran delivers a majestic piece with rock accents.

The music for Emir Kusturica‘s “Underground“, Palme d’Or at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, was also signed by Goran. But not the following film. A three year collaboration on “Underground” has worn everyone out and Emir has to find a whole new team for his next film.

Recently Goran composed spicy music with a “kletzmer” aroma for the “Train de Vie” of Radu MIHAELANU acclaimed by the critics in Venice, Sao Paulo, Berlin and by the public everywhere it was shown.

He has since devoted himself to the interpretation of his own music and lent himself to a second stage-career. Without completely abandoning the movies, however: Nana Djordjaze “1001 Recipes of a Cook in Love”, “27 Missing Kisses” in 2001, Unni STRAUME Music for Weddings and Funerals” (original music and the main male role) in 2002, Venice Film Festival official selection. In 2004 Bregovic repeats the same adventure: he composes music and plays the main role in an Italian film entitled “Giorni dell’Abandono” (“The days of Abandon”) premiered in Autumn 2005, Venice Film Festival official selection.

MUSIC FOR THEATRE
In 2007 the Serbian National Theater commissioned music and staged a ballet based on Duma’s novel “Queen Margot”.
MUSIC FOR CONCERTS:
In June 1997, the group is reduced to fifty musicians for a two hour concert with the music he composed for films. And it’s one success after another. Bregovic undertakes a triumphal tour throughout Europe with his Wedding and Funeral Band presenting live his most beautiful pieces from the famous “Ederlezi” (Time of the Gypsies) to the “In the Death Car” (Arizona Dream) and the energetic “Kalasnikov” (Underground) taking off as delirious audience echoes the with the powerful “Juris” (Charge!!). The number of entries – between 3,500 and 10,000 per concert – and the concert given May 1st at the Piazza St. Giovanni in Rome in front of 500.000 people confirm beyond any doubt that his music now has a real impact on an international level.
 
Goran BREGOVIC continues his career, and the young local rock mega-star of the 70s and the 80s asserts his authority as a mature, successful, international composer.
 
MUSICAL COLLABORATIONS
 
SELECTED RECORDINGS:
Some critics have called Tales and Songs from Weddings and Funerals his neo-classical album. In it he presents a range of musicians portraying the many influences – from tango and reggae to Gypsy brass band music.
 
SPECIAL PROJECTS
To start off his Italian tour in Summer 2000, Goran concocted a “Big Wedding in Palermo” for the Santa Rosalia Celebration on July 14, for which he shared artistic direction with the famous musicologist and composer from Naples, Roberto de SIMONE. For just one very special night, Goran a assembled artists from countries that he calls his musical feeding-ground” – between Budapest and Istanbul. To Goran’s music and to images of video director from Belgrade, Boris MILJKOVIC, Slovenian and Greek dancers danced under direction of a gifted Romanian choreographer , Edward CLUG. And once again he called on the brass bands (a wedding with no brass band is no wedding) to lead 80 brides and bridegrooms each from opposite parts of the beautiful town of Palermo to the central square where, around three in the morning, they met with Clug’s professional dancers and Goran’s Weddings and Funerals Band for a long final wedding dance.
 
In June 2002, Goran BREGOVIC united in the St. Denis Basilica (near Paris) three star singers from three religions with the Moscow orthodox choir, a string section from Tetouan in Morocco, and his Weddings and Funerals Orchestra, for a special project called “My Heart has become Tolerant” on the theme of reconciliation, commissioned by Festival of Sacred Music of St. Denis (that year entitled “From Bach to Bregovic”). Luciano Berio invited the same project to his Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome in July, another concert on the Esplanade of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Festival of Sacred Arts in Fez… and it can be said that another side of “contemporary music” composer has been added to Goran’s career.
 

In 2004 Goran BREGOVIC composed his first opera entitled “Bregovic’s Karmen with a Happy End”, the first Carmen with a K and a Balkan accent. A combination of naive theatre and opera, “Karmen” was premiered in Italy on April 17 2004 and has since been performed over one hundred times. Written, composed and directed by Goran Bregovic (only a few quotes from Bizet’s “Carmen”), this gypsy opera is interpreted by the musicians of his Wedding and Funeral Band. Since recent publication of the album, a web-site has been created with music, scores for free use and information: http://karmen.artistes.universalmusic.fr/index_valid.php

*Megaron – Athens, Accademia di Santa Cecilia – Rome, Konserthuset – Stockholm, Salle Grande Duchesse Jos诨ine-Charlotte – Luxembourg, Theatre Des Champs Elys – Paris, Philharmonie – Cologne, Concertgebouw – Amsterdam, Bozar – Brussels, Symphony Hall – Birmingham, Konzerthaus – Vienna.
 
TOURS:
2005 brought more tours in Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Israel. Also an opening of the Asian continent – a tour including Taipei, Singapore and Seoul in June 2005, then Summer Festivals in Italy, Spain, France. After Bremen in Germany, St. Petersburg and Moscow and a French tour in November, “Goran Bregovic‘s Karmen with a Happy End” played all December in Paris in “Le Cabaret Sauvage”.
 
In June 2005, Bregovic’s old legendary group “White Button” (Bjelo Dugme) came back together for a sold-out reunion tour of the capitals of three former Yugoslav republics. An audience of 70.000 in Sarajevo and Zagreb, and 200.000 in Belgrade proved him right in the hope that people separated by wars could at least share and enjoy a common musical heritage.
 
2006 After a tour of France, some concerts in Spain and Italy, July 2006 offered a first opening of North American territories for Bregovic’s music: an extraordinary concert in a square in Montreal, closing the Montreal Jazz Festival for an audience of 150-200.000, one concert in Chicago’s magnificent Millennium Park (4.000 seated and 7.000 standing) and one concert in the Avery Fisher Hall within the Lincoln Center Festival in New York. Montreal and Chicago were free concerts offered respectively by the Festival and the City of Chicago, and the 2.800 seats of the Avery Fisher Hall were entirely sold out two weeks before the concert.
 
After a Summer tour of festivals in France, Hungary, Italy and Greece, a return to Korea: Seong Nam – a concert of “Tales and Songs for Weddings and Funerals” with local musicians and Bregovic’s Wedding and Funeral Band on August 31st, and “Goran Bregovic‘s Karmen with a Happy End” in Seoul on September 2. Little touring in Europe then work on the new projects and the CD of “Karmen…”
2007 More tours in Italy, France and Spain in January-February. A first visit to Australia and more sun on Canary Islands and Ile de la R贮ion in March. Then colder places – Oslo, Island in May… Then the usual Summer tours with a come-back to Poland after a long absence. Mexico in September, Russia in November… Gypsy life full to the brim continues for this eclectic composer figure.

2008 A first visit to Chile (in January), a second visit to Mexico (in April), two sold out concerts in the New York Avery Fisher Hall (Lincoln Center Festival in July) and Australia (October). A concert in the Kremlin in Moscow and a tour in Siberia (November) plus Scandinavia and the Baltic countries and the habitual visits to France and Italy marked by two concerts of “Three Letters” with Kristjan JÒVI’s ABSOLUTE ENSEMBLE within MI-TO Festival in Milano and Torino.

2009 Guca is a small town in Serbia of maybe 20.000 inhabitants that holds an annual contest of brass bands in August and swells to 150.000 people who, shaded by tents in scorching heat, drink, eat grilled meat and sour-kraut the Serbian way and drink and listen to the music and drink again for three days…. which explains the title of the new CD “Alkohol” recorded live there in the Summer of 2007. The first part ‘Sljivovica‘ came out in France in January (with three sold out concerts in Le Grand Rex in Paris) – other countries followed in April. An American tour in June, a new piece for “Bang on a Can” Marching Band with a premiere in the Lincoln Center in August, more tours in Europe and ‘Champaign’, the second part of “Alkohol” to come out at the end of the year.

2010 Two new projects on the way – both with a working title at this stage:
“ORFEO di Bregovic” – an opera involving Goran Bregovic Weddings and Funerals small Band (brass, Bulgarian singers, voice/percussion) and an opera singers, choir and orchestra will be premiered in Spring or Autumn (dates still in negotiation) of 2010.

Serbia’s Small Trumpet Princess Wins Hearts

Serbia’s Small Trumpet Princess Wins Hearts

Being a lady and playing a trumpet is uncommon, says Danijela Veselinovic, the first and only female leader of a Serbian brass band.

Veselinovic first took up the trumpet at the age of eight. | Photo: Courtesy of Danijela Veselinovic

Danijela Veselinovic was only eight years old when she first took a trumpet in her hands. She formed her first band a year later. She’s kept a tight grip on the instrument ever since. Now 22, Veselinovic is an accomplished professional musician who is finishing her musical studies at the Novi Sad Arts Academy. “I started playing trumpet out of curiosity,” Veselinovic remembers. “My father, Mile, bought a trumpet so he could play it. My brothers and I appropriated it as a toy.” Only a year later, in February 2003, the young girl, her brothers, and a few relatives formed a band in their home town of Arilje in western Serbia. The band consisted of six musicians: five boys and a girl, aged six to 10. The band was called Danijela. “I was the only girl, so the orchestra was named after me,” Veselinovic says. Over the years, the unorthodox band has attracted more than a little media attention. Most recently, Serbia’s Vice made a film about the orchestra. “Disanje” (Breathing) brought them to the attention of a much wider audience.

 

Pioneering a place for women

It was rare to see a girl playing trumpet when Veselinovic and her brothers formed Danijela. It’s still rare today. Veselinovic is the only woman in Serbia’s musical history to lead a brass orchestra. “At first, people are surprised to see me on the stage,” Veselinovic says, “because in Serbia it is not common that girls play this instrument. But then they accept it with huge support.” The band has participated at brass festivals not only in Serbia, but in Poland, Switzerland, Spain and Greece. In addition to the traditional Roma music played by other Serbian bands, Danijela plays brass versions of Serbian and foreign popular music. “Foreigners adore music from the Balkans,” Veselinovic says.

 

Royalty in the trumpet kingdom

Serbian brass bands perform at weddings, funerals and holiday celebrations throughout the country, but the centre of the trumpet universe is the Guca Trumpet Festival, held each August in a small western Serbia town, around 160 km from Belgrade. The Guca festival gathers music lovers from all over the world. The main attraction is the brass band competition, in which the best ensembles battle it out for the coveted Golden Trumpet award. During the seven-day festival, all you can hear in Guca is the sound of trumpet bands. That’s not just hyperbole. Last year, festival organisers pledged to fine any shop or restaurant caught playing other kinds of music 300,000 dinars (around €2,500). Guca has always been something special for the young band. It’s where they first came to prominence and attracted the attention of Serbia’s musical community. “Guca is where we emerged,” Veselinovic says.

Danijela competed at Guca from 2003 until 2014. The band won a prize at its very first appearance. Veselinovic remembers receiving the trophy from Boban Markovic, a Roma trumpet player who is deemed the greatest trumpeter ever to emerge from the Balkans. “You are a small trumpet princess,” he told her. Since that year, the band has won five additional awards at Guca competitions. Organizers say that since 1961, when the first brass fest took place in Guca, there has never been another female band leader. Veselinovic is especially proud of her place in the musical history of Serbia.

Danijela and her band. | Photo: Courtesy of Danijela Veselinovic

No trumpets, no fun

Playing the trumpet has not always been Veselinovic’s only passion. She is also an accomplished archer. She trained with bow and arrows for a long time and was quite successful, she says, but things changed when she started her musical studies in Novi Sad. “I had to devote more time to trumpet, so archery is now only a hobby,” she says. Some students leave Serbia to pursue musical careers after graduating, but Veselinovic says she may stay. Her first priority is to finish her studies at the Arts Academy. “And then we will see,” she says. Besides, she adds, there are many concerts yet to be played, both as part of her studies in Novi Sad and with her band. But it is not just at concerts and festivals that Veselinovic and her six colleagues perform. She says they have often “adorned various celebrations,” providing musical accompaniment to weddings, funerals, birthdays, anniversaries and other events. “Everyone in Serbia knows there is no fun without trumpets,” she says. “We keep busy playing at private events.” Keep that in mind. Your next party could become a more festive and traditional event with the addition of a trumpet band – maybe even Danijela. If you haven’t heard a Serbian trumpet band, head to Guca – or a kafana in the bohemian quarter in Belgrade’s Skadarlija – and check it out!

 

This article was published in BIRN’s bi-weekly newspaper Belgrade Insight. Here is where to find a copy.